The media had their first chance to meet with the players on Thursday and as you probably know by now, suspensions were confirmed for Washington and O'Neal. The press had attempted to ascertain the status of the two players when they spoke with Tressel on Monday, but he deftly moved the conversation to the next question by saying that more details would be forthcoming.
At yesterday's Buckeye media day, one of the precious few days each year that all players are available to the media, the two players admitted to being suspended for the first two games, though neither would say what they were suspended for. The two, along with the now-departed Eugene Clifford, were busted for what-shall-not-be-named in early April and suspensions had been rumored for some time.
The good news is that the suspensions are for the Youngstown State and Ohio U games -- I don't think any of us would bat an eye if the defense went out and pitched back-to-back shutouts, in spite of the absence of the veteran Washington and utility back O'Neal. The bad news, of course is that the first game back for these guys will be played at a speed that may be difficult to simulate in practice with a scout team. That and the USC wide receivers will essentially have a
twoone-game running start.
Sophomore Chimdi Chekwa has been running with the first team lately and will likely be the starter in place of Washington. As the nickel guy last season, he has a lot of experience under his belt. He did get roasted in the Illinois game, but more than made up for it by jawing with H20-4 later in the season. He'll play a lot of minutes in the first two games and could parlay that into more action against the Trojans, but all three of the cornerbacks figure to see a good amount of action in that game.
Getting back to the way this news was obtained -- does that strike anyone else as being a little weird? Tressel basically waited and let the players confirm their fates while avoiding why they were suspended. He's straight machiavellian, but he's our Prince, damnit.
Other notes from the media day and practice:
- Thad Gibson is up to 250 pounds from the 205 he arrived at and he's still claiming a 4.5 forty time. His photos scare me a little.
- Mike Boren, former linebacker for Bo, is now the proud owner of Buckeye apparel.
- The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was in town to cover the event, okay maybe just one guy at the event, but how else would we know that Boeckman and Pryor are rooming together at camp.
- We've been informed that Curtis Terry is huge -- about 250 huge -- but not quite up to Jamar Martin size yet. Feed that man.
- Shaq Rowell's situation may be a bit more dire than reported. The ball is in his court, but the odds aren't good at this point.
- Brandon Saine is rocking a yellow jersey, which means his action has been limited in drills and such.
- In addition to some Pony sets, the Buckeyes have been looking at the Pistol formation.
- Photos: Bucknuts, Scout and this goldmine (via OHD)
- Some audio and video at the official site.
The-Ozone* is running a contest to nickname Beanie's stiff-arm. The winner will be announced prior to the first game of the season and there are handful of pretty damn awesome entrants. The three that really caught my eye are "The Varsity Club", "Pushy Galore" and "Fear Itself", though I'm probably partial to the 007 homage. Head here to vote.
The Wall Street Journal caught up with Rich Rodriguez and I get the feeling his John Cooper-esque approach to the rivalry may come back to bite him in the ass.
* I've never understood the hyphen. Anyone?